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I just answered a query as to acquiring a home theater 'system' for $500. I chuckled at first and then recalled I spent the same amount on my first system!!


Thinking back to how it all started was funny to recollect. A trip down memory lane.


Let me digress, I got the bug in 1991 working as a sales person at Sears (T.V. dept.). I had just finished dental school and had to make some dough 'til I could get a job. Top Gun played all day on the laserdisc player in Dolby Surround through Bose surround system. It probably sounded bright and bass reached down to a whopping 50 hz. but the effect was amazing to me.


I quit before I could afford to buy anything but found a demo receiver at Montgomery Wards for $250 (Kenwood) and bought it. I added my old college Polk 10B speakers to the front with a outdoor Bose speaker as the center channel and two outdoor Bose speakers for the rears! The whole upgrade to surround sound cost me about $500.


I had a Mitsubishi 27" t.v. (remember their 1 year no financing - I was sucked right in)


It was nirvana! I was hooked!


That was ten years ago. Five systems (and an advanced degree later), I have thousands into my current system and getting ready to build a dream dedicated theater as an addition to my house. My wife is a big fan to boot and is force behind building this theater - that's another story!


I may have to work a little longer to retire but what the hell!


Bottom line, even a very inexpensive system can bring excitement and wanting for more.


How did you all start out?


Jeff
 

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Like you, I remember trying to recreate movie sound. Back in the Mid 80's. Dolby Pro Logic was BIG for me. Or was it Pro Logic? Seems like there was something else before DPL. Anyway, I had this 45 inch Mitsubishi FPTV (remember those, the mirror folded up when not in use). I had good sound right off the bat, but the big sound didnt match the small picture. Ive been trying to recreate a Movie Theater in my basement ever since.
 

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Excellent question! A friend of mine had bought a 53" Sony and was having trouble hooking up the DVD player and the Aiwa pro logic system player. She could get the front channels working but no other speakers in the system. The DVD player was easy and through trial and much error I realized the Aiwa had to work independently of the surround system in the TV and with the push of a button all the speakers came alive with the sound of The Fifth Element. I had never seen or heard of a RPTV let alone surround sound , and in that moment there was magic. I finished hooking up their VCR to the system, and went straight home to have a serious talk with my wife and son. We all agreed, that was a year ago last March. October 29th marks the first year of MY home theater and I just keep getting in deeper.. and deeper.... and deeper :)
 

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My brother was in a band and was really into music. It was no surprize that he spent money on a great set of speakers and components. He was living at home and had some money to spend. He bought a sub and a big A#$ TV. He showed me a clip from BladeRunner. I think it was a scene where Harrison Ford is being escorted (by Edward James Olmos) to see his old boss. Anyway, the car/ship is coming from behind the seating position, with a beautiful sky-view of the city, lit up at night. I could feel the bass going through me and the roar in my ears from the surrounds as the ship came from behind into view, where the main speakers picked up. The picture quality was impressive. It was my first time seeing a DVD and I was hooked.


--Steve
 

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Jeff,


Just keep charging $2k for a filling and that theater will be coming awfully soon!...lol.


I was a "Jr. Audiophile" because of my dad. When I was about 6-7 years old he spent an amazing $2500.00 in 1978-1979 which was a lot of $$ then. He bought a POWERFUL Kenwood receiver and JBL Studio speakers (still has the JBL's too!). That Kenwood was such a great receiver. It was a classic style and an underrated 80 WPC!! I got a Kenwood Pro Logic 100WPC receiver in 1994 for Xmas and we did a A/B comparison. His receiver wons hands down!!! Very tight bass and effortless power! I got in trouble MORE then once for "stretching" it's legs :) I got the "I could fu**ing hear that down the street!" lecture. I guess he didn't like Rush's Tom Sawyer! :)


I would love going to the now closed Lechmere's and sit in the H.T. while my parents shopped! I was hooked at about 13-14 years old! It's been all down hill ever since!


Michael
 

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Hi


It started just a few years ago...


I saw a Bose :D demonstration in a Dolby Prologic setup about 3 years ago (movie: Speed) and was very impressed. Never seen anything like it. Well, I was a student and had no income, so there was no chance of buying such a system.


A few months later I was in a hifi store and heard a very deep rumbling. I started looking around and discovered that it came from a subwoofer. I knew what a sub was, but I hadn't heard one before. I bought it and was VERY happy. It was a cheap one, Sony 35W $160 ;) but I didn't know better.


Months later I saw a nice deal on a Pioneer Pro Logic receiver (incl. center+rear speakers) and bought it. Man, did I love it!


Again a few months later :) I went to an old friend of mine who had a real hometheater with a Dolby Digital setup, 100" projection, two subs and was completely blown away!


My current setup costed me thousands of dollars :eek: . Pretty much every penny goes into it and I'm not finished yet, I'm not finished at all! :cool:


Han
 

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My first experience was when I was about 11 and my father hooked up a Sanyo component rack system up to the 27" TV. He had the 2 floor standing speakers in front and a couple of slightly smaller speakers mounted in a latticed ceiling. I thought this was cool except when my mother would always scream "TURN IT DOWN!!!".

The next experience was seeing my brothers AIWA mini shelf system hooked up to his TV and he played Star Wars through it. This one had a little sub woofer and I thought it was the greatest.

The same year for Christmas, my wife bought me the RCA Theater in a box which was DPL(no sub). I loved it. I upgraded my TV from 27" to 36" and DVD and I was hooked.

My wife and I then made the mistake(my wife's mistake ;) ) of going to DisneyWorld and we went to Tomorrowland which we sat through a demo from Sony in a dedicated room made to look like a classic theater. I was blown away!! I realized that I needed DD and DTS and a much bigger screen so I bought an NEC MT1000 1024X768 LCD projector and a Denon Receiver with DTS and hooked it all up in my basement family room. It was impressive, but then we moved to a home with an unfinished basement.

While my equipment was in boxes I found this forum and I learned about CRT projectors. I started constructing my own dedicated room for HT (85% complete now after 4 months), bought a slightly used Barco Data 800 projector and built an HTPC. Now I am never satisfied. I have great sound, an incredible picture quality in my own isolated environment, but know with the increase in knowledge from this forum I am an insessant tweaker always trying to get a little bit more out of myt system. I now unfortunately, know what edge enhancement is and am drawn to it when present on the screen. Oh well, I am a HT addict. What can I say?:)


Dan
 

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In 1978, Battlestar Galactica was simulcast in stereo over a local FM station. All my buddies and I would sit around a 19" TV and crank up the radio. Not a HT but what a hoot!


I've "progressed" since then (as has technology) but still have warm memories of how engaging that little screen and big sound was. :)
 

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When I was about 15 I got my parents to 'allow me to buy' (I think I had a lot of back-allowance owed or something) a Magnovox fake rack stereo system with CD player for $450. I remember my mother saying, "but what if he wants more in a couple years." Ha, ha!


Through high school I started listening to surround sound demonstrations at Best Buy and Audio King. Somewhere around then Pro Logic came out and I was hooked. When I was 18 I pulled out some money, about $1500, and bought a Yamaha receiver and a Polk Audio sub/sat system. (it sounded better to me than Bose) I joined that with my Magnavox speakers and had DPL. I remember my parents were out of town so I completely rearranged the living room, broke up the sectional couch into 3 pieces, and set up the 4 speakers around the pieces. I think Back to the Future 2 or 3 was the first movie, when the lightning (that strikes the car) flew through the room and seemed to hit the front wall, the dog took off. I didn't see her again for 1/2 a day. :)


Soon after that I found my dad's 1960ish Wharfedale 3-way's which hadn't been used in about a decade. They were a dramatic improvement over the crappy Magnavox stuff, which I sold. I put all this with my dad's 53" Sony and life was grand!


Long story short, I've survived with that basic setup since then, occasionally adding something else. This year I've been truly upgrading for the first time ever. Actually, I even used that equipment, along with a friend's stuff, to be a DJ for a few years.


Now I've changed to Klipsch Reference series speakers, an Onkyo 898 receiver (still waiting for delivery, d*mnit!), a Marantz CD-RW, a great tape deck, a better LD player, my first DVD player, and other necessary items. So far I've spent under $5000, but without discounts and careful shopping it would have been well over that figure. I still dream about a true dedicated room, but that's a ways off. I've got to start saving for HDTV now. I think TPM might be the first movie once I get the receiver to christen my 5.1 setup. I haven't seen it but once in the theater.
 

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Back in 1990, walked into high-end store Listen-Up in Denver, Colorado, looking for interconnects for my stereo. Had a laserdisc playing a war movie

(don't recall the title); plenty of rumble and explosions.


That was all that was needed. I was hooked!


J.V.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Huckster
In 1978, Battlestar Galactica was simulcast in stereo over a local FM station. All my buddies and I would sit around a 19" TV and crank up the radio. Not a HT but what a hoot!
My uncle had the same experience in the '80s with Miami Vice. I got into HT becasue Iv loved electronics for as long as I can remember and I love saying I have the coolest bedroom out of everyone I know, whose the same age as me. :D


Steve
 

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This bothers me.


I've been racking my brain all evening and I can't seem to recall how I got the bug. I can't even point to a real progression.


Best I can recall I just turned to my wife one night and said "I want a home theater" and she said ok. I'm not even sure what lead to me asking. I must be getting senile. Maybe, but at least I have a great HT to enjoy.
 

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I heard the late, great Frank Zappa sing I'M THE SLIME (oozin' from your TV set) in the 1970's. By the 1980's I thought the song was totally prophetic because TV was getting worse and worse. I decided I wanted to collect videos and be my own network. In 1986 I got a stereo VCR and got down to biz. After using that for a year and being completely underwhelmed by the VHS format, I got a Pioneer LD-838D Laserdisc player and found a medium worthy of teatro por mi casa! Soon I had a Pioneer VSX-5000 dolby surround reciever and 2 SAE 100 wpc amps and four tower speakers. I thought that was the living end! Little did I realize how fast stuff would improve.... I look at my stuff today and say damnnnnnnnn! It's stille hard to believe they sell stuff this nice for home use, or am I dreaming? Frank was my inspiration! Every time I see Miss Cleo on TV, I say to myself, that wacky genius was right.
 

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Hiyas all starting my first hi-fi System. This hobby goes from pratical to downright nuts from what ive noticed. I started this young from what ive noticed. My older brother game me some older speakers 15/5/2 ,Cdplayer and a stereo Receiver. With my thirteen inch tv i thought it was God. Playing my Genesis on it was great. I was 7 when i had this as im eighteen now.

After that i saved lunch money :) for some time starving myself (nice huh?) to get a RCA HtiB (200 bucks) attached my older speakers too it so i had seven speakers then. It was interesting to say the least


You guys sure are lucky im working my way up. What i really need is a Good subwoofer now this Awia rly isnt cutting it Svs time muahahahha ::crys::.


Jamie


Peace Out
 

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I think I am converging on this disease from the opposite direction. :) I was given a DVD player first. Then I got a membership to NetFlix and really started enjoying movies. Next came a Home Theater in a Box sound system. Now, I'm ready to move to front projection and a real sound system.
 

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Hello everyone,

I got the home theater bug about 7 or 8 years ago I was about 13 at the time. I took the 12 in speakers out of a guitar box, and had my dad help me build my own front speakers, they didn't sound that bad, but I knew I had a long way to go. Then built a center channel with ceiling speakers, and a unpowered subwoofer with 2 12 in subs from Radio Shack. I had this all powered by 2 cheap guitar amps hooked up to a shelf system that had RCA ins on it so I could hook it up to my parents tv. Well now i am a little older and had more money, so with my gradutation money, I bought a pair of Cerwin-Vega speakers, the one with 12's in them, I have Cerwin Vega surrounds a CV center along with a sony center. That is run by a pioneer dd dts receiver with a pioneer dvd and cd player and I have a 27" Wega. I think that is sounds great, I know it is not true high end, i have seen those systems before, but for a college student I think I have done remakably well, I can knock things off my RA's walls, he lives next door, during the beginning of Terminator 2.


Scott
 

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In 1980 my late father wanted a big screen TV for the living room. I did the leg work for him and was very interested in the process. He lived in a very rural area of southwest PA so I went to several larger towns and finally to Pittsburgh to see what was out there at the time . Sony, Mitsubishi, Advent, and Quasar all had the early three tube projection systems . The PJ would throw onto a mirror and then onto very high gain curved screens in single piece units. They all looked pretty good with the Mit looking the best with the 50" screen. I was looking at some larger models by advent with two piece coffee table type units and seperate screen but it seemed too dim to me. This is when I saw a Kloss novabeam and the search was over. This PJ hands down had the best picture at the time. He later purchased this and fortunately LD had also just come out to give the best at the time. I loved to visit dad more than ever as did most of the neighbors! By the way my dad also had a color TV in 1959! Any way I said some day when I have the means and the time to enjoy it I'm going to have my own HT and here I am
 

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I guess I got bitten by the bug about 12 years ago when I bought my first RPTV, a 45" Mitsubishi. It had surround sound outputs, so I mounted a couple of speakers in the ceiling behind an A/C grill (to disguise them).


But my real love for HT started about 3 years ago, when I got transferred to VA. I had a new house, an empty room, and plenty of disposable income. The rest is history.


You can read my story here
 

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The whole thing for me started with a tragedy. We had a fire in my house and basically I lost everything (including my pets) but my wife and children all got out safely. We used to say we lost everything, but we have everything. Anyway, pre-fire, I had a various collection of stuff; stereo receiver and CD player (both

Denon), Klipsch speakers, a 35 inch tv and a HiFi VCR. We used to watch VHS movies in stereo.


After the fire, we got the insurance money and started rebuilding. I knew nothing about HT, but I basically knew I wanted a whole house audio distribution system. So, I walked into a store that installed those systems, (of course they also sold HT systems) and before I knew it, I had the bug.


I didn't really know much (i.e. anything) at that time, so I guess I got your classic "checkbook" system. But, when you have to rebuild everything, you can really focus on the A/V system. I ended up getting a 56" 16x9 RPTV , DSS, DVD, 5.1 DD receiver, 2 zone audio distribution, 9 pairs of speakers plus 1 CC speaker, subwoofer, CD jukebox (oddly enough, about 400 of my 500 CD's survived the fire), Xantech IR distribution and 2 Pronto's.


After it was installed, over time, I learned about what I had got. I got lucky. The people did a good job and charged me a fair price (based upon my later research) for the components, however a few things weren't installed to my liking. So, that's when I started tinkering. I started with the Pronto, when next to calibrations via Avia. I found this forum. I found some others. So, over time, I took everything apart, put it back together. No real major upgrades though I did improve the system.


Then my real education started when I sold my house. I basically sold everything (except for my A/V receiver and DVD player) with the old house and I had to start from scratch. So, this time, I did it all my self. I got a better TV, HDTV receiver, better speakers, did all the wiring, and got into base shakers.


So, I must have the bug, since I am already thinking about my "next" home. That's probably when I get into front projection.


Regards - Hal
 
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